In Masaba Masaba, the auto-fictional series starring the titular fashion designer, Masaba Gupta is shown to as Mumbai-based Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the city. She’s not a writer like her but she does have a similar taste in this colorful series. But we hear the voice in her head whenever she’s in trouble.
Streaming on: Netflix
Release Date: August 28, 2020
We discover that she’s newly single and obviously runs her own label called “House of Masaba”. Every man in her life is neatly packaged into a cliched or if I may say stereotypical roles: The Flimsy Ex-Boyfriend, the Sensitive Ex-Husband, the Eccentric Bisexual Artist who’s always seen with a Joint, The Socially Awkward Boss with “Big Dick Energy”.
Masaba Masaba: who are they?
The lives of Neena and Masaba Gupta are far more interesting than what is portrayed in the series. We’re only shown on the surface level and one can only hope that the writers will take a deeper dive into the personal psyche and their journey. But nonetheless, this a harmless and fresh series that can be watched just for its performances. Masaba told recently that she wanted to be an actor since 14 but her mother discouraged her to take up this profession. Considering her performances as a debut actor, we really hope we see more of her in the upcoming series.
A special mention to Amariah Awantaye as Baby Masaba who pops up often to fill in for her grown-up version. It is a narrative tool to show us whenever Masaba feels like a little girl and we absolutely enjoy how adorable she looks on the screen even though it doesn’t significant value to the series.
It would have made a huge difference to understand if they showed what it meant for Masaba to grow up as a half-black girl with a single mom in India. How does it like for someone whose own mother is a national-award-winning actor to be told that she doesn’t have the “right look” to try in Bollywood cinema and be dissuaded from becoming an actor? We only hope they cover more of it in the second season of Masaba Masaba.
Neena Gupta shines throughout the series!
The mother – Neena Gupta, on the other hand, lacks self-confidence, and she tries fighting this by learning, how to drive, get a tattoo, and many such things. Some of the warmer moments of Masaba Masaba feature her mother.
The parallel sequence has Neena Gupta doing her own gig – as an overbearing mother, but also as a 60-year-old actress struggling to land roles in a male-dominated industry. She can be seen carrying a portfolio even after being an established actress. The arc is interesting and true to the actress’ social media presence: she lands a priceless hip-hop video (“Aunty kisko bola re?”)
One can only wonder why the writers didn’t keep it as “Neena Neena”.
Obviously, there have been other movies or series about mother-daughter ties as well. And Netflix’s miniseries of six short episodes, Masaba Masaba, loses out on the originality front. But this duo makes it an interesting one-time binge.
Many Fabulous Actors to spice up the show!
Our other favorite character is the third character in this show – Instagram, which drives the world we live in. Like Carrie Bradshaw has her New York City as the fifth character, our Masaba has Instagram as another important character. Masaba announces her divorce, her new collection, her new space, and much more. Much later, it is the same Instagram that rescues her from a show she puts up. (We don’t want to spoil the final fun!)
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And then you have Rytasha Rathore playing Gia as Masaba’s best friend who brings her a crate of beer to work on a Tuesday. Rytasha is gold. She is real, honest and the kind of friend already has in our lives or you should find one. (Tag your Gia in the comments section)
There are refreshing cameo appearances by Pooja Bedi, Kiara Advani, and Farah Khan. Neil Bhoopalam stands out among the male cast for his “Big Dick Energy”. But the showstoppers are the 2 Gupta ladies whooping it up as they are completely non-judgmental about one another failings which are so motivating to watch.
Unfortunately, we don’t get into understanding the events that shaped Masaba and her mum Neena’s life. But there are ample incidents that will make you laugh and maybe even empathize with their little successes and failures.
In 180 minutes, the series takes us on a joyride through the messy life of a young woman with dreams, who almost fails at everything. But always manages to get up and get going without losing her true identity and inner child.
Stream now on Netflix and have fun with “Gupta Gupta” along with them!